Thursday, February 21, 2008

True Crime: The Want-Ad Killer

(Ann Rule, Signet, 1988)
The 1988 updated edition of a book originally published in 1983 under the name of Andy Stack. Updated or not, it is still not one of Ann Rule’s better books, which isn’t saying much, seeing that she never really writes that well anyway.
The Want-Ad Killer tells the story of Harvey Louis Carignan, yet another highly intelligent mass murderer who specialized in raping and killing young women, mostly teenage girls. Actually, the title of the book bares little relationship to Carignan’s actual crimes, for most of his murders were of women that had nothing to do with the want-ad that first brought him to the attention of the Washington police. Long before that advertisement and the resulting murder of teenager Kathy Sue Miller, a legal loophole successfully saved the killer’s neck from hanging for murder in Anchorage, Alaska, allowing him to move onto Washington and Minnesota (and possibly Canada, Oregon, California and a variety of other states) to continue what he liked doing most: raping women with hammer handles, getting forced oral sex and bashing in brains. Whatever it really was that made him what he is we will never know, but there is no doubt that Carignan grew up to be an evil, woman-hating, messed-up man. Hard to believe that such an ugly man, complete with extreme, uncontrollable nervous twitching and incessant sweating could be found attractive by anybody, but the man even married twice, beating his wives regularly both times.
His legal defense in the end was insanity, based on the idea that he was such a fanatical believer in God that he was sick in the head. Like the good Reverend Oral Roberts, it seems God would speak to Harvey, but whereas God has usually told Roberts to collect money, Harvey was usually told to kill them whores. It took far too long to get this man behind bars — Harvey, not Oral — and though he was finally found guilty, he probably got away with untold numerous other unproven murders.
Sentenced to a total of 150 years in 1975 in Minnesota, a state in which no criminal can serve more than 40 years no longer how long he is sentenced, he has another 8 years to go before he can give your daughter a ride...
For a short but interesting on-line interview of the man, go here.

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